Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Yellow Wallpaper: Introduction
The Yellow Wallpaper: Plot Summary
The Yellow Wallpaper: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Yellow Wallpaper: Themes
The Yellow Wallpaper: Quotes
The Yellow Wallpaper: Characters
The Yellow Wallpaper: Symbols
The Yellow Wallpaper: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Historical Context of The Yellow Wallpaper
Other Books Related to The Yellow Wallpaper
- Full Title: The Yellow Wallpaper
- When Written: June, 1890
- Where Written: California
- When Published: May, 1892
- Literary Period: Gothic
- Genre: Short story; Gothic horror; Feminist literature
- Setting: Late nineteenth century, in a colonial mansion that has been rented for the summer. Most of the story’s action takes place in a room at the top of the house that is referred to as the “nursery.”
- Climax: The narrator suffers a complete mental breakdown, identifying herself with the woman she has hallucinated as being trapped in the yellow wallpaper and clawing at the walls as she creeps in endless circles about the room and over her fainted husband.
- Antagonist: John, the narrator’s husband and doctor, could be considered an antagonist, although he is not a purely evil character.
- Point of View: First person narrator, in a series of diary entries.
Extra Credit for The Yellow Wallpaper
Self-funded. To finance her education at the Rhode Island School of Design, Charlotte Perkins Gilman painted advertisements (trade cards) for soap companies.
Utopian lit. In addition to critiques like The Yellow Wallpaper, Gilman wrote utopian fiction through which she imagined a world in which social conditions reflected equality for women.